Bike Friendly Columbia, Bike Boulevard and Bike Lane Demonstration Project

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Damian Smith
Damian Smith signed this petition

City of Columbia City Council

Mayor Steve Benjamin

SC Department of Transportation

Richland County Council

 

Esteemed Leaders of Columbia and South Carolina,


We are proud citizens of Columbia, united in following public health guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic and appreciative of our regional leaders for their service. Columbia is a great place to call home and we see signs of solidarity in our community during this crisis. 


During this crisis, we see an important opportunity to advance the Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan adopted by the city in 2015 as well as the Vertical Development plan from 2015. People are spending more time at home these days - especially children home from school - and everyone needs safe ways to move about the city both now and in the future when we return to a new normal. By advancing the master plan, we could promote a permanent uptick in walking and bicycling across our community.


Now is the perfect time for simple demonstration projects as traffic is greatly reduced. We suggest demonstration bike lanes or bike boulevards.  Cities across the world are experimenting with “pop-up” bike lanes during the COVID-19 crisis: Berlin, Mexico City, Bogota, and here in the US in New York City. Such plans also have the potential to encourage long term economic benefits through more people in key business corridors downtown (e.g., see neighboring cities like Greenville and Atlanta).


Several roads designated as “bike boulevards(Fig.40)” in the master plan represent neighborhood connectors and good low-traffic options for demonstration projects in Columbia. Demonstration projects are low-cost and temporary for the purpose of assessment. Cheap barriers and lines can be used in existing lanes allowing for usual city services and other vehicle-related activities. We recommend committing for at least a month. May is a perfect month to commit; it is National Bike Month!


We have examined the master plan and suggest the following targets for pop-up bike lanes or Bike Boulevard presented below. You could select one or all of these. The goal would be to select a few easy routes to connect multiple downtown neighborhoods and business districts. We just encourage you to get started! You have adopted an excellent plan - one that evidence shows will lead to improvements in health and well-being as well as financial benefits for the city and local businesses . Now is a time to act!

 

Suggestions for “pop-up” bike lanes or Bike Boulevards to promote neighborhood connections.

Neighborhoods ConnectedStreets
1)East-West Downtown (connects Waverly, Robert Mills, Downtown, and Vista)

  • Hampton Street
  • Washington Street
  • Calhoun Street

2)North-South Downtown (connects Elmwood/Cottontown to University)

  • Marion Street
  • Pickens Street
  • Sumter Street

3)Downtown to Devine Street 

  • Greene Street
  • Devine Street

4)Devine Street to Rosewood

  • Maple Street

5)Pinehurst to Downtown 

  • Pinehurst Rd
  • Schoolhouse Rd
  • Chestnut St


Thank you,

#BikeFriendlyColumbia

Don’t forget to leave a comments on why you want a more bikeable and walkable city